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Title: How the World Travels
Author: Methley, A. A.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "How the World Travels" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

Transcriber's note:
    Minor spelling inconsistencies, mainly hyphenated words, have been
    harmonized. Italic text has been marked with _underscores_.
    Obvious typos have been corrected. An "Illustrations II"  has been
    added so as to include the illustrations not in the "ILLUSTRATIONS"





    A. A. METHLEY, F.R.G.S.





    CHAPTER                                     PAGE

       I. TRAVEL IN THE OLDEN DAYS                 1

      II. COACHING DAYS                           11

     III. STRANGE VEHICLES OF EUROPE              21

      IV. JOURNEYS THROUGH INDIA                  32


      VI. JOURNEYS THROUGH AFRICA                 52

     VII. JOURNEYS IN THE NEW WORLD               63

    VIII. TRAVELLING IN THE WILDS                 74

      IX. THROUGH ICE AND SNOW                    84



     XII. THE TRAVEL OF TO-MORROW                117



    PREHISTORIC SLED                       3


    EGYPTIAN CHARIOT                       5



    EARLY SIDE-SADDLE                      9

    A MEDIÆVAL COACH                      12

    AN OLD FAMILY COACH                   13

    RIDING PILLION FASHION                14

    SEDAN CHAIR                           15

    POST-CHAISE                           16

    IN THE WILD WEST                      17


    BELGIAN DOG-DRAWN CART                25


    TURKISH MOURNING CAR                  27

    SCHIESSEL CAR                         29

    SICILIAN CART                         30

    CAR IN COLOMBO, CEYLON                33

    BOMBAY CAR WITH HOOD                  35


    EKKA                                  37


    CHINESE COUNTRY CHAIR                 43

    MULE PALANQUIN                        44

    WHEELBARROW OMNIBUS                   45

    A TRAVELLING TRADESMAN                46

    CHINESE CART                          48

    JAPANESE RICKSHAW                     49

    CAPE BULLOCK WAGON                    53

    DURBAN RICKSHAW                       55

    BEIRA TRAM                            58

    CAIRO CART                            59

    IN MOROCCO                            61

    AMERICAN TROTTER                      64

    QUEBEC CALÈCHE                        65

    LLAMAS                                68

    CUBAN VOLANTE                         69


    COUNTRY COACH, AUSTRALIA              72


    CAMEL WITH BRIDAL BOWER               78

    CARRIERS IN THE FOREST                80


    ICE-BOAT                              86

    REINDEER AND SLEDGE                   87



    ENGLISH SLEDGE                        92

    A HAPPY PARTY IN AUSTRALIA            93

    BULLOCK CARRO, MADEIRA                96


    CARRO DA MONTE, MADEIRA               98

    BULLOCK CART, AZORES                  99

    MADAGASCAR LITTER                    101

    PONDICHERRY PUSH-PUSH                103

    EARLY ENGINE                         107

    WHITE SUDAN TRAIN                    108

    MOUNTAIN RAILWAY                     109

    HIGH BICYCLE                         111

    EARLY CYCLE                          113

    EARLY MOTOR-CAR                      114


    OVERHEAD TROLLY                      121

      CROSS THE CHANNEL                  123

      SCOUT BALLOON                      125


    RIDING A BULLOCK IN AFRICA.      frontispiece

    STATE ELEPHANT IN INDIA.                   32

    PALANQUIN FOR ARAB WOMEN.                  81




"Coach, carriage, wheelbarrow, cart": we have all, most likely,
repeated these words again and again, as we counted the
cherry-stones out of a pie, the petals of a daisy, or the tufts
on a blade of grass, and we have hoped, as we counted, that Dame
Fortune would give us a coach or a carriage to drive to church in
on our wedding morning.

A cart seemed a very commonplace affair, and a wheelbarrow was
almost too absurd to be possible. Yet there are countries where
people actually ride in wheelbarrows and in other conveyances even
more quaint and unusual.

It will be interesting, perhaps, to borrow a magic carpet for
a little while, or the cap of Fortunatus, and travel round the
world and back through the ages of history, so that we may see the
strange vehicles that are in use to-day, and those in which our
ancestors made their journeys hundreds of years ago.

The first conveyances of all, used in far-away prehistoric days and
later still in wild uncivilised lands, were simply rough sleds on
which heavy loads were dragged. Later, circular slabs of wood were
cut from the trunks of trees to serve as wheels, and, instead of
pulling these primitive carts themselves, the men trained oxen to
do the work.

As time went on improvements were made, and we find pictures of
chariots on the walls of the ancient, ruined cities of Egypt and

The Bible tells us of the chariots and horsemen of Pharaoh, who
were overwhelmed in the Red Sea, but more than two hundred years
before that time King Thutmosis of Egypt had a wonderful war
chariot, which, in 1903, was discovered in his tomb at Thebes. It
is now in the museum at Cairo, and on it are painted pictures of
Thutmosis driving in the chariot, charging his enemies and shooting
arrows at them.

  [Illustration: PREHISTORIC SLED.]

Other nations also used chariots in warfare, and we read that they
carried two men, one being the driver and the other the warrior. In
a close encounter the soldier alighted and fought on foot. Some of
these chariots were armed with great hooks or scythes fastened to
the wheels. Julius Cæsar tells us that when he invaded Britain the
chief, Cassivelaunus, had more than four thousand chariots, and he
describes how skilfully they were handled by their drivers.


"In the most steep and difficult places," he says, "they could stop
their horses at full stretch, turn them which way they pleased, run
along the pole, rest on the harness, and throw themselves back into
the chariots with incredible dexterity."

In Britain, at that time, there were also conveyances for
travelling, called _benna_, and also larger carriages with four
wheels, which carried the wives and children of the warriors and
their baggage.

The Romans themselves used chariots both for warlike and peaceful
purposes, and they were named _biga_, _triga_, or _quadriga_,
according to the number of horses by which they were drawn. Chariot
races were an important feature of the great festivals that took
place in the Colosseum, and it is said that Nero once drove one
with ten horses abreast.

  [Illustration: EGYPTIAN CHARIOT.]

These racing chariots were, of course, lightly made and designed
for speed, but there were other vehicles of great size and
magnificence, which carried successful generals when they rode in
triumph through Rome to celebrate their victories. This triumphal
car was usually drawn by four white horses, but very often by
lions, elephants, tigers, bears, leopards, or dogs.


Other vehicles for more everyday use were to be seen in the streets
of ancient cities, and in the paved roadways of Pompeii are deep
ruts made by the wheels of chariots nearly two thousand years ago.


Litters were also used at that time, and Pliny calls them
"travellers' chambers." They were borne on shafts, and special
slaves used to act as bearers. Roman ladies often travelled in
covered carriages called _carpenta_, which were gorgeously

During the mediæval ages carriages fell into disuse, or were
only employed by women and invalids, or by kings and princes on
ceremonial occasions. Charlemagne had a wonderful vehicle with
richly ornamented wheels and an inlaid roof supported by columns,
and the Crusaders on their march had with them large wagons for
their baggage.

In the fourteenth century new conveyances called _whirlicotes_
and _charettes_ were used. When King Richard II. married Anne of
Denmark, the new queen entered London accompanied by her maids of
honour, who drove in charettes, which were wagons with benches,
painted red and lined with scarlet cloth. On London Bridge were
crowds of people anxious to see the royal bride. In the confusion,
one of the charettes was overturned and the ladies thrown to the

Litters very much like those of Roman days were still to be seen
in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. At her coronation Queen
Elizabeth of York, dressed in white and with her golden hair loose
over her shoulders, was carried through London in a rich litter,
with a canopy over her head borne by four Knights of the Bath.

Anne Boleyn, in 1553, was carried to her coronation in a litter
covered with cloth of gold, and the two horses that supported it
were clothed in white damask.

  [Illustration: EARLY SIDE-SADDLE.]

During the Middle Ages vehicles were so few because the roads were
very bad, and in many places there were only rough bridle-paths
from one town to another. Riding was, therefore, the principal
means of transit, and horses, mules, and donkeys were used. Very
large horses, the ancestors of our present cart-horses, were ridden
by the knights, for a warrior in heavy mail could only be carried
by a strong animal. This was especially the case when it was
necessary for the horse itself to be also clothed in metal armour.

The ladies also rode, and side-saddles were first introduced into
England by Anne of Bohemia, the wife of Richard II. These saddles
were very different from those of the present day, for they were
like chairs placed sideways on the horses' backs.

Pack-horses were much used in mediæval times, and pictures show us
long trains of these animals, each with its heavy load, wending
their way along the rough, narrow pathways of old England.



Coaching days! The words carry us back a hundred years or more,
and bring to our minds gay, romantic pictures of scarlet-clad
postilions, prancing horses, and a rosy-faced driver with his long
whip and quaint three-tiered cape. We seem to hear the merry sound
of the horns, the ring of hoofs, and the rattle of harness, as the
coach, with its passengers and piled baggage, clatters along a
broad high road or draws up at the open door of some old-fashioned
English inn. Those are the eighteenth-century days that we call
to mind, the days when coaching was at its height, but we must go
further back than that if we want to find the origin of this form
of conveyance, and to see how it developed out of the clumsy wagons
and quaint whirlicotes and charettes of mediæval times.

We first hear of coaches in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and they
are said to have been introduced into England in 1594 by a coachman
who was a native of Holland.

There is an old picture of the great queen riding in one of her new
equipages on some state occasion. It was open at the sides, had a
high roof decorated with waving plumes, and was drawn by two richly
caparisoned horses.

  [Illustration: A MEDIÆVAL COACH.]

At first, it appears, coaches were reserved for the use of royalty,
but Stowe tells us that "after a while divers great ladies made
them coaches and rid in them up and down the country, to the great
admiration of all beholders." He goes on to say that within twenty
years coach-making became an important trade in England.

  [Illustration: AN OLD FAMILY COACH.]

These coaches were very different from those of later times, for
they were open at the sides and the wheels were very small and low.
In shape they were not unlike the state coach that is still used
at coronations and other great occasions.


During the seventeenth century many alterations and improvements
took place in coach-building both in England and France, and in
1620 we find Louis XIV. driving in a carriage with glass sides.
In the reign of this monarch, too, a curious light two-wheeled
conveyance was introduced. It was called a _flignette_ and very
much resembled a modern dog-cart.

  [Illustration: SEDAN CHAIR.]

In the eighteenth century greater progress was made as roads
improved. Sedan chairs came into use, and ladies rode pillion
fashion, sitting on a cushion behind the saddle of the horseman.

  [Illustration: POST-CHAISE.]

Hired carriages, too, began to be seen in the streets of Paris, and
in 1625 they appeared in London. Very few of them were allowed at
first, but in 1634 an old sea-captain named Baily established a
stand for hackney coaches near the Maypole in the Strand, and by
the end of the century there were no fewer than eight hundred of
these vehicles in the City and suburbs.

  [Illustration: IN THE WILD WEST.]

Stage coaches to carry both passengers and mails were the next
innovation, and they were soon running regularly during summer on
three of the principal high roads of England.

Nowadays, when we can travel from one end of the country to the
other in a few hours, we should think the old conveyances very slow
coaches indeed, but at the end of the seventeenth and during the
eighteenth centuries they were thought marvels of swiftness. It
took a week--only a week, people said then--to go from London to
York, and the journey to Manchester could actually be made in four

In Hogarth's pictures we can see what an early stage coach was
like, with its large, clumsy wheels, high roof, and an enormous
basket at the back in which baggage was carried and where
passengers who wished to travel cheaply could sit. Later on
this basket developed into an extra back seat, and in a picture
painted in 1834 there is a coach with no less than three separate
compartments, besides having seats on the roof.

In 1784 sixteen coaches left London every day, and it was one of
the sights of the City to see them start from the General Post
Office on their journeys. Each vehicle had an armed guard, for
those were the days of highwaymen, and it was no uncommon thing for
travellers to be stopped and robbed by gentlemen of the road.

Dick Turpin was one of these thieves, and for a long time he
terrorised Epping Forest and the outskirts of London, and another
famous--or infamous--robber was the young Frenchman Claud Duval,
about whom many romantic tales are told. On one occasion he
returned the jewels that he had stolen from a beautiful lady, on
condition that she would descend from her carriage and dance a
measure with him on the open road.

It is difficult now to realise what our highways were like a
hundred years ago and more, when coaching was at its height. Then
the great roads were crowded with traffic, post-chaises, stage
wagons, and pack-horses. Now it is sad to see the same roads
narrowed to half their former width by broad borders of grass that
have been allowed to grow.

In those days there were many private travelling carriages besides
the public coaches. A most interesting one is now in London at
Madame Tussaud's. This is the wonderful coach which belonged to
Napoleon Buonaparte. In it the great emperor rode back from Russia
after the burning of Moscow, and later on from Cannes to Paris on
his triumphal progress through France in 1815.

It is said that Napoleon himself designed the fittings of this
carriage, for it contained everything necessary for a long journey,
and was intended to serve the purpose of a bedroom, a dining-room,
and a kitchen. The coach was captured by a German officer after
the Battle of Waterloo, the emperor making his escape on horseback;
and having been purchased by a man named Bullock, it was exhibited
through the whole of the United Kingdom.

Gradually, as time went on, railways superseded the picturesque
old coaches. They continued to be used, however, in less civilised
countries, and can still be seen in the wild forest districts of
Australia, New Zealand, and America.

In the early pioneer days of the United States these coaches, with
their loads of passengers and mails, sometimes encountered bands
of Red Indians in their journeys across the prairies, and there
are stories of terrible disasters and narrow escapes when the
travellers were pursued and attacked by the savages.

Those exciting times have passed away now, but coaches have not
entirely disappeared. In Hyde Park on Sunday mornings before the
War we could see the beautiful vehicles of the Four-in-hand Club
to remind us of how our great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers
travelled in the merry--but, perhaps, rather dangerous--days of



It is not only in the far-away countries of the world that we must
travel in order to discover curious conveyances. Some are to be
seen quite near at home, even in England itself. We must remember
that as a rule it is because things are unfamiliar that they seem
quaint and curious, so let us try to imagine for a few moments that
we are natives of some distant land who have come to pay a visit to
Great Britain.

We land at Dover, perhaps, or Newhaven, and go along the coast
until we come to Brighton. It is quite a commonplace seaside town,
no doubt, but, in our characters of observant foreigners, we
shall notice many interesting things, and among them are several
extraordinary little vehicles which are drawn up in a row along the

What can they be, these tiny carriages, each with its wheels,
shafts, and box-seat complete? Then we see that instead of a pony
or donkey, the little conveyances are drawn by shaggy, long-horned


The stranger stares with amusement at the dainty goat-chaises
as they drive away filled with merry loads of children. Then he
travels up to London and goes for a stroll in one of the poorer
districts of the great city.

It is a Bank Holiday perhaps, or a fine Saturday in the
summer-time, and the costermongers are off in their donkey-carts
for a day's outing on Hampstead Heath. What a noise and clatter
there is as the heavily laden little vehicles trot past, the
donkeys looking so smart with their well-groomed coats and bright
harness, and the drivers in the festive costumes decorated with
pearl buttons that, surely, no foreign city in the world can rival!

We leave Whitechapel or the Old Kent Road behind us now, and
journey out into the country, where, in some narrow green lane or
on a breezy common, we overtake a yellow-painted gipsy van, hung
about with baskets and brooms, and drawn by a sturdy, sleepy old
horse. The owner of the van walks at his horse's head, or sits
comfortably on the shaft, and through a little muslin-curtained
window we catch a glimpse of his wife's dark face and long
earrings. The gipsy children, ragged, bright-eyed urchins, lag
behind, gathering flowers from the hedges, or run through the dust
of the road to beg for pennies.

Certainly England has its own share of strange vehicles, and there
are others even more curious still to be seen in out-of-the-way
districts. One of these is the two-wheeled cart used for farm-work
in some parts of Wales, which, in shape, is almost exactly like the
ancient chariots that were found in Britain by the Roman invaders
when they landed between Walmer and Sandwich nearly two thousand
years ago.

Across St. George's Channel the quaint-looking Irish jaunting car
is to be found, and then we travel back again to the continent of
Europe. If we landed at Ostend or Antwerp before the War, most
likely the first thing we should have seen would be a neat little
cart loaded with vegetables or bright milk-cans, and harnessed to
one or two large handsome dogs.

In England most dogs, except those owned by farmers or sportsmen,
lead idle lives, but this is not the case on the Continent.
The dogs of Belgium, Holland, and Germany are quite content to
work--and to work hard, too--for their livings. There are numbers
of them in the towns and villages, bravely dragging heavy loads, or
lying down between the shafts and taking a well-earned nap in some
shady corner of the cobbled street.

  [Illustration: BELGIAN DOG-DRAWN CART.]

In Belgium dogs were employed, not only for peaceful purposes, but
in times of war for drawing ambulances, little ammunition wagons,
and machine-guns.


Oxen are also used to draw carts in most of the European countries,
and very picturesque some of them are. In Turkey most elaborate
bullock carts are used in some districts as mourning carriages,
and in them women are conveyed when they wish to visit the
grave-yards. These carts are usually drawn by two animals which
wear, fixed to their collars, large curved pieces of wood hung
with tassels. The carts themselves are elaborately decorated, and
while one man leads the bullocks another, staff in hand, walks at
the side of the vehicle.

  [Illustration: TURKISH MOURNING CAR.]

There are many other strange conveyances to be seen in Turkey,
perhaps the most curious of all being the sedan chairs which,
although they have quite disappeared from other cities of Europe,
are still used at night or on snowy days in the streets of
Constantinople. In the eighteenth century sedan chairs were common
in England, and in them the powdered and patched ladies went to
their balls and routs, but it is strange to think of the quaint
old-world conveyances being carried by stalwart Turkish porters
along the dark, muddy streets of an Oriental city. These chairs,
like the agricultural carts of Wales, come down to us from a past
age, and another strange survival is seen at Schiessel, a village
near Bremen, where the peasant girls drive to weddings and other
festivities in large wagons that, painted and decorated with
garlands of flowers, are exactly like the old carts and charettes
of the Middle Ages.

Russia is a country where the carriages appear very strange to
English eyes, for there three horses are driven abreast, and while
the two outer animals gallop, the one in the centre is trained to
trot. As may be imagined, a very skilful and experienced driver is
necessary to guide these droskeys, as they are called, along the
rough country roads or through the crowded streets of a city.

  [Illustration: SCHIESSEL CART.]

Among other curious vehicles which may be seen in Europe are
the small two-wheeled omnibuses of Portugal and the quaint,
gaily-decorated carts of Sicily. These latter conveyances are
picturesque and interesting, for they are covered with paintings
of figures and landscapes, while even the wheels are ornamented and
carved. Donkeys draw these brilliant little carts, and they are
usually used by fruit-sellers, but often they may be seen with a
heavy load of passengers.

  [Illustration: SICILIAN CART.]

Before the time of railways large public travelling carriages,
called diligences, were used in France, Switzerland, and other
European countries. They were great, cumbrous vehicles carrying
many passengers with their luggage. In out-of-the-way country
districts, and among the mountains, these old-fashioned diligences
are still to be seen, clattering along the dusty roads or toiling
up the steep passes across the Alps.



We have seen some of the strange vehicles of England and Europe,
and now we will travel eastward into Asia. There, as is only right,
we must go first to India, for the great peninsula is one of King
George's dominions, and its inhabitants, whether they be black,
brown, or yellow, Hindoo or Mahomedan, civilised or savage, are as
much British subjects as we are ourselves.

  [Illustration: STATE ELEPHANT IN INDIA.]

India is an immense country, extending as it does from the
Himalayas in the north to Point de Galle in the extreme south of
Ceylon, and if we travel through the country we shall find many
curious vehicles. Some of them are exactly the same as those which
were in use hundreds of years ago, for India is a conservative
land, and, although there are railways and tramways there now,
while fine motor-cars speed along the roads, most of the natives
are content with old ways, and travel through the country districts
in the quaint bullock carts and palanquins that satisfied their
ancestors in the days before the powers of steam and electricity
had been discovered.

  [Illustration: CART IN COLOMBO, CEYLON.]

We will begin with Colombo, as that is usually the place where
travellers land on their journey to the East. When we go ashore
from our steamer we either take rickshaws, which were introduced
into the island from Japan in 1883, or else engage one of
the little bullock carts and drive through the picturesque,
tree-shaded streets of the town. These bullock carts, or gharis,
have two wheels and can be driven very quickly. They are provided
with hoods, as the sun is very hot in tropical Ceylon.

The bullocks are often decorated with elaborate patterns cut
or branded into their hides, and the natives excuse this cruel
practice by saying that not only does it distinguish the animals
from each other and prevent their being stolen, but that it also
protects them from rheumatism.

There are many larger carts with quaint, palm-thatched roofs to
be seen in Colombo. These are called hackeries and are found in
many parts of India. It is often strange and amusing to see the
numbers of natives, men, women, and children, who are able to pack
themselves into one of these vehicles.

There are a great many different varieties of bullock carts in
India. Those in Coonoor, for instance, have very high, narrow
hoods, while in Bombay an awning is provided which stretches out
over the bullock's back and shelters both passengers and driver.
Another type of cart has four wheels and curious cage-like sides,
while the wooden cover is provided with blinds and there is a rack
for baggage on the roof.

In Madras the raikla, a vehicle of quite a different description,
is seen. It appears to consist merely of two wheels and a tiny seat
for the driver. These carts are very swift, and are used when great
speed is required.

  [Illustration: BOMBAY CART WITH HOOD.]

In Ajmere the bullock carts have awnings supported by four poles,
and in Calcutta there are elaborately decorated carriages drawn by
gaily caparisoned oxen.

Other interesting conveyances are those in which the zenana ladies
travel. These are carts with a hood, and velvet curtains at the
sides. When in use the curtains can be tightly drawn, so that
passers-by cannot catch a glimpse of the passengers.


Besides bullocks, ponies are used in India. They draw the ekkas,
which are light, hooded carts, and the tongas, generally used by
European travellers.

 [Illustration: EKKA.]

In some districts of India camels draw carriages, and we have a
picture of a brougham into which two of these ungainly animals are
harnessed. Very strange it looks, with the drivers seated on the
humps of the camels and a rather unnecessary coachman perched on
the box-seat of the vehicle. A more imposing equipage is the state
carriage of the Begum of Bhopal, for this is drawn by four camels,
splendidly caparisoned, and each with a helmeted rider, while other
servants in quaint and gorgeous costumes are in attendance. The
effect is very striking.


Besides these elaborate conveyances there are several kinds of
palanquins for use on rough roads and in mountainous districts.
Palkis are litters attached to a single long pole which is carried
on the shoulders of two or more men. Dhoolies are square boxes,
rather like sedan chairs, in which native ladies sometimes travel,
and the ruth is a palanquin on wheels.

In India camels are ridden by both men and women. The latter often
sit in kujawas, which are small square panniers made of wood and
strong netting, and are hung on either side of the animal's back.

Horses, bullocks, and donkeys are also ridden, but the most
imposing steed in India is the elephant, and very magnificent
these great animals look when they are carrying native rajahs or
taking part in some religious procession. On these occasions the
howdah, which is like a palanquin perched on the elephant's back,
is painted or covered with gold and silver, while the animal itself
is often gaily coloured and has his tusks decorated with jewels and

Elephants, however, are not always decked in this fantastic
fashion, and often the howdah is a very simple affair rather like a
huge basket in appearance. Sometimes the mahout, as the keeper of
the elephant is called, sits on the animal's broad neck or rides on
a rough wooden saddle.

One of the most curious conveyances to be seen in India is a
travelling theatre, which consists of a large, railed platform
fastened across the backs of two elephants which walk side by side.
This strange moving stage figures in wedding processions and other
festivals, and during its passage through the streets of a town
dancing girls give performances on the platform, which is brightly

Elephants are strange animals and need to be very carefully
trained and kindly treated. There is a story that once in Ceylon a
newly-caught elephant, when required to draw a wagon, felt this to
be such an indignity that he lay down between the shafts and died!

Perhaps his relations in India are not quite so proud and
sensitive, for in that country we find them doing a great deal of
hard work. They move large logs of wood, carry heavy burdens, and
also drag cannon. At times, even, they may be seen taking the place
of steam-engines and drawing railway trucks along the line. In
fact, there is nothing in the way of hard and heavy work that the
elephant cannot do.



One is always accustomed to think of China as a strange,
topsy-turvy country, where everything is marvellous and unexpected,
so that it is no surprise to find there many queer conveyances and
modes of travel. Even in very early times China, or Tartary as it
was called then, was looked upon as a veritable wonderland, and
Marco Polo, who explored the country more than six hundred years
ago, gives us a very interesting description of how the Emperor
travelled when he went on one of his hunting expeditions. This is
what he says:

"The Khan upon his journey is borne upon four elephants, in a fine
parlour made of timber, lined inside with plates of beaten gold and
outside with lions' skins. Sometimes, as they go along, and the
Emperor from his chamber is discoursing with his nobles, one of the
latter will exclaim, 'Sire! Look out for cranes!' Then the Emperor
has the top of his chamber thrown back, and having seen the cranes,
he casts one of his falcons, and often the quarry is struck in his
sight, so that he himself has the most exquisite sport as he sits
in his chamber or lies on his bed. I do not believe that there ever
existed a man with such sport or enjoyment as he has."

Modern tourists in China cannot see quite such wonderful equipages
as this, but the Emperor's state palanquin, which was still in use
in 1880, was a very gorgeous affair, and it was carried by no less
than sixteen bearers.

China has always been a land of ceremony, and very strict etiquette
is maintained with regard to the conveyances of the mandarins.
Sedan chairs are used, and these vary in colour, decoration, and
number of carriers, according to the rank of the owner. If the
mandarin is of a very high class he is accompanied on his journeys
by a whole retinue of servants. One of these carries a large open
umbrella, a second has a fan attached to a pole, while others bear
tablets on which the insignia of his rank are displayed. It is a
great offence if a man has more coolies in attendance than those to
which he is entitled.

  [Illustration: CHINESE COUNTRY CHAIR.]

In a wedding procession a beautiful palanquin is used to take the
bride from her parents' house to the home of her future husband.
It is painted red and ornamented with kingfishers' feathers. The
little Chinese lady only travels once in this gorgeous conveyance.
After her marriage she has to be content with an ordinary sedan
chair, the curtains of which are always tightly drawn so that she
can neither see nor be seen as she is carried through the streets.

  [Illustration: MULE PALANQUIN.]

When an important mandarin travels everyone makes way for him and
his imposing retinue, but with those of lower rank this is not
the case, and it is one of the duties of his bearers to keep up
a constant succession of loud shouts and commands such as "Mind
your back!" "Move to the right!" "Get out of the way!" As may
be imagined the streets of a Chinese town are very noisy, for
they are narrow and crowded with a motley throng of people, among
whom are porters with heavy packs on their shoulders, itinerant
merchants carrying their wares in baskets slung on long poles,
beggars, and children of all sizes and ages.

  [Illustration: WHEELBARROW OMNIBUS.]

Besides these private sedan chairs there are others which may be
hired. These are fairly comfortable, being provided with cushions
and having a narrow shelf on either side on which the passenger
can rest his arms. In country districts, however, the traveller has
to be content with a simpler conveyance, consisting of a roughly
made bamboo chair attached to long poles.


Sometimes much larger palanquins are seen. These will hold several
people and are carried by two mules or ponies.

In China, rickshaws, which are wheeled chairs drawn by one or
more coolies, are also used, their name coming from the Chinese
word _jin-li-che_, which means "man-power-carriage." These little
vehicles are convenient, but in many cities the streets are so
narrow that they cannot be employed. Then it is that we find the
quaint wheelbarrows, which are, perhaps, the strangest conveyances
in the whole world. These wheelbarrows are used both to carry
passengers and merchandise. Those intended for the former purpose
have a very large wheel, on either side of which is a seat arranged
rather in the fashion of an Irish jaunting car. Below the seat a
cord is suspended on which the feet of the travellers can rest.
Two, four, six, or even, sometimes, as many as eight native women
can be carried, and the coolie who pushes the barrow has a strap
across his shoulders which eases his arms of some of the weight.
Occasionally hooded wheelbarrows are seen, and for them a second
coolie in front is employed.

  [Illustration: CHINESE CART.]

In Northern China donkeys and bullocks often drag these strange,
one-wheeled carts. The roads are so bad that it is almost
impossible for larger vehicles to be used, although sometimes we
see a native family with their household goods moving from one
place to another in a rough wagon drawn by an ox and a donkey
harnessed side by side.

  [Illustration: JAPANESE RICKSHAW.]

From China we travel still further east, and in Japan, the Land of
the Rising Sun, other curious and picturesque conveyances are to be
seen by the fortunate tourist who is able to journey so far afield.

Horses are very little used in this country, and the Chinese
jin-li-che is the principal conveyance, its name being now changed
into jin-ri-che or jinricksha. Very charming these little vehicles
look, as they careen through the streets of a town, or under the
blossom-covered cherry-trees of a country road, especially if the
wheels are painted scarlet, and if the passengers are two dainty
little Jap maidens, with gay obis round their waists and flowers
decking their smooth, dark heads.

The coolies who draw the jinrickshas are also picturesque in
their blue cotton clothes, and in winter-time they wear most
extraordinary straw cloaks which make them look like small moving

Another interesting Japanese conveyance is the kago. This is a
small, hammock-shaped litter made of cane and bamboo, suspended
to a strong pole. There is an awning overhead, and on this the
light luggage of the passenger--a pair of straw shoes, a bouquet
of chrysanthemums, or a bundle tied up in a brightly coloured
handkerchief--is carried.

The bearers of a kago are two stalwart, bare-legged men, and they
always carry long sticks in their hands.

This curious type of litter is much used by the Japanese
themselves, but not by Europeans, as the occupant of a kago has to
sit with his knees doubled up in what seems to Western ideas a most
uncomfortable position.

There are other strange conveyances to be seen in Japan, one of
the most interesting of all being the Imperial chariot which has
its place in great religious processions. It is drawn by a black
bull, and is decorated with the Mikado's crest, a sixteen-petalled



"From the Cape to Cairo." We have all heard of the wonderful
railway which some day is to run all the way from Table Bay to
Egypt, and is to carry passengers in ease and luxury through the
heart of Darkest Africa. That will be in the future, no doubt;
but, even if the railway were already finished, it would surely be
more interesting to travel in the old-fashioned ways, and, even if
it necessitated hardships and fatigue, see something of the great
continent and of its inhabitants.

Let us suppose, then, that we start on our journey from Cape Town,
and, ignoring the railway which already could carry us far into
Central Africa, put the clock back for fifty years, or more, and
engage one of the great bullock wagons in which the old colonists
made their adventurous pilgrimages.

A traveller who journeyed through South Africa in 1846 gives an
interesting account of his conveyance and experiences.

  [Illustration: CAPE BULLOCK WAGON.]

"In travelling by wagon one gets along slowly," he says. "Twenty
miles a day is reckoned moderate, and two and a half miles an hour
is the usual rate of progress. Cooking utensils, as a kettle, a
gridiron, and a pot, accompany the wagon. Bedding is also a part of
the travelling appurtenances, and is either made up at night in the
body of the wagon or in the open country, according to the weather."

This description sounds pleasant and comfortable enough, but
the men and women who in those days set out across unexplored
country in search of new homes often had to endure hardships and
face terrible dangers, for the Kaffirs and Zulus were fierce and
warlike, and they often attacked and murdered the newcomers.

As a safeguard against these enemies the colonists used to arrange
their wagons at night in a circle, and within the primitive fort,
or laager as it was called, they would make their camp and light
watch-fires to frighten away lions and other beasts of prey.

South African wagons are very large and have canvas hoods. Whole
families can travel in them comfortably, and sometimes as many as
sixteen oxen are used.

North of Cape Colony is Natal, the oldest of the British
possessions in South Africa, and now we will leave our quaint,
old-world wagon and pay a visit to the port of Durban as it is

  [Illustration: DURBAN RICKSHAW.]

Here we shall see careering along the streets or waiting to be
hired, some very strange little vehicles indeed, and shall hardly
recognise them at first as our old friends the rickshaws of Japan
and Ceylon. When we look more closely, however, we shall see that
the rickshaws themselves are just the same as those which speed
along the red roads of Colombo or under the cherry blossoms of

It is the men who drag them that are extraordinary, for the Kaffir
rickshaw boys of Durban wear the most amazing costumes and deck
themselves out in queer finery of all sorts. Beads, scraps of
ribbon, feathers, all these are pressed into the service, and very
often as a finishing touch of grandeur the boys fasten buffalo
horns on to their woolly heads.

Leaving Natal behind us, we will go up country beyond the reach
of railway lines. There travellers have to make their journeys in
Cape carts, which are two-wheeled vehicles drawn by a pair of mules
and driven by a Basuto. These natives are among the finest drivers
in the whole world, and they will whip up their mules and dash
recklessly up hill and down dale, no matter how rough the road may
be, or even, as often happens, if there is no road at all.

There is no brake to a Cape cart, and the harness is frequently
rotten or mended with scraps of string or tape, but nothing seems
to matter, and the Basuto will generally manage to bring his
passengers and the piles of baggage safely to their destinations.

Occasionally in these districts a more ambitious conveyance is
provided, this being a coach, much like the old stage coaches of
England in appearance, drawn by ten mules instead of four smart,
prancing horses.

Further north we notice many strange modes of travel, such as a
white man riding a bullock with saddle, harness, and stirrups
complete; or a Masai family on the move, the woman leading an ox
which carries not only her husband but all the household goods and

At Beira we reach the boundaries of civilisation again, for here
a little tramcar may be seen running through the streets. It is,
however, rather a primitive affair and consists only of a light
car or trolly, on which is room for one passenger, the whole being
pushed along by a scantily dressed native.

We travel on northward again and reach Khartum, whence a finished
section of the Cape to Cairo railway will carry us to Wadi Halfa.
Here, as throughout Egypt, donkeys are an important means of
transport, and very smart the little animals look with their
red leather, humped saddles, large stirrups, and the blue bead
necklaces which are worn to protect them from the Evil Eye. The
poorer inhabitants of Egypt and the Sudan have to be content with
more simply attired mounts, and they either use a rough pad as a
saddle or else ride bare-back.

  [Illustration: BEIRA TRAM.]

In Cairo, the old capital of Egypt, we find vehicles of all
descriptions, for this city is a strange mixture of East and West.
In the crowded streets motor-cars and buffaloes, splendid private
carriages and long strings of clover-laden camels jostle each
other, while steam tramcars carry tourists to the Pyramids and old
Arabs on their tiny donkeys jog contentedly along the road in front
of the great European hotels.

  [Illustration: CAIRO CART.]

The equipage of a rich Egyptian or high official is an imposing
sight in the streets of Cairo. It is preceded by two or more gaily
clad servants, or saises, who run in front of the horses with long
sticks in their hands and shout to the pedestrians and the more
humble conveyances to get out of the way.

Among these latter, which halt and draw back against the wall at
the sais's command, we see some of the most curious of all the
vehicles of Egypt, the little flat, two-wheeled carts on which
native women of the poorer classes are conveyed. These carts are
drawn by a mule or donkey, led by an Arab, and each carries a group
of crouching women, who sit closely together with their black
veils drawn over their faces. "An Arab taking out his wives for an
airing"--that is how tourists often describe these quaint vehicles,
but really they are public conveyances, and the native women,
having paid their fares, are going on shopping expeditions to the
bazaars or to visit their friends in some distant part of the city.

Nowadays, however, these picturesque conveyances are beginning
to be considered old-fashioned, and the natives crowd into the
electric trams which run in all directions through the town and
into the suburbs beyond.

Alexandria is even more up-to-date than Cairo, for there not only
tramcars but motor-omnibuses are to be seen.

Morocco, another country of North Africa, although much nearer to
Europe, is still very much behind the times, and therefore even
more interesting, perhaps, than Algeria and Egypt. In Tangier,
for instance, the streets are so steep and rough that only very
primitive vehicles can be used, and most people, natives and
Europeans alike, ride either on donkeys, mules, or ponies.

  [Illustration: IN MOROCCO.]

The Sôk, or market-place, in this city is most picturesque, for
there can be seen groups of pack-mules, laden and ready to start
off on some long journey; ponies with women sitting on strange
saddles set sideways like chairs, and Arab chiefs mounted on their
magnificent horses. The market-place itself is very curious, with
its whitewashed and narrow gateways, through which the mules with
their large panniers can scarcely pass.



From the Old World we go to the New, and see if we can find any
curious vehicles in the great continents of America and Australia.

Beginning with America, as that was the first of the new lands
to be discovered, we will go back to the days when Red Indians
lived in the forests and rode their wild, hardy ponies across
the prairies. The Indians had no wheeled conveyances, but they
harnessed their ponies to strange little sleds, which dragged on
the ground and supported the long tent poles and heavy loads of
household gear.

These Red Indians were very brave but savage and treacherous, and
they bitterly resented the coming of strangers into their land.

The early settlers lived in constant dread of attack and massacre,
and they were always armed when they cultivated their clearings
in the forests or ventured further and further afield into the
undiscovered country of the West.

The conveyances used by the colonists of North America were
large, hooded wagons, very much like those to be seen in Africa,
and in these prairie schooners, as they were sometimes called,
the pioneers carried their wives and their children out into the

  [Illustration: AMERICAN TROTTER.]

The wagons were drawn by teams of strong horses, mules, or oxen,
and large numbers of emigrants generally travelled together. This
was necessary, as small parties would almost certainly have been
attacked by the Indians.

Even when they did travel in company the colonists were not always
safe, and a man who went to the West in 1850 tells a terrible story
of his adventures.

  [Illustration: QUEBEC CALÈCHE.]

On this occasion Indian guides were employed to lead the way across
the passes of the Rocky Mountains, and these guides proved to
be untrustworthy and treacherous. One night, when the camp was
pitched in a forest, nearly all the horses were stolen, together
with the stores, and then, when the emigrants were in this helpless
position, they were attacked by a band of Indians. After that,
the story seems like one of the cinema plays with which nowadays
we are all familiar, for the writer tells how he and another man
were chosen to ride for help to a neighbouring fort, how they were
pursued by the savages, how they escaped, and how, finally, when
they returned, it was to find that they were too late, and that
during their absence the wagons had been burnt and the hapless
people murdered.

Even disasters like this did not, however, daunt the brave
adventurers, and thirteen years later we hear of a huge convoy
starting westward from Chicago. On this occasion many, who could
not afford to purchase wagons, set out on foot for the long journey
of more than a thousand miles, dragging their possessions on little
two-wheeled handcarts.

Times have changed now, and there are many railways crossing the
great continent. The Indians have disappeared from the forests, and
in the Rocky Mountains gay parties of holidaymakers can be seen in
the summer-time, riding in the same woods where, a century ago,
their ancestors, grimly alert and with guns in their hands toiled
along on the weary journey that was to bring them at last to the
wonderful "El Dorado" of their dreams, where new homes and fabulous
riches were to be found.

At the present time in the western districts the men are great
riders, and extraordinary feats of horsemanship are common among
the cowboys on some of the cattle ranches.

The vehicles of modern North America are much like those of
European countries, but mention must be made of the curious cars
used to show off the paces of the celebrated trotting horses. These
little two-wheeled carts are very lightly made, and seem to consist
merely of two wheels, a small seat, and a pair of shafts.

In Quebec, Canada, a very smart cab may be seen. It is of
picturesque appearance, on two high wheels, and bears the French
name of "calèche."

In South America there are not many curious vehicles. A great part
of the country is covered with tropical forests, and in the south
riding is the principal means of getting from place to place.
Mules and oxen are used as beasts of burden, and in some districts
quaint-looking animals called llamas are also employed. These
creatures, which most of us have seen in zoological gardens, are
very hardy and can carry heavy loads on their backs.

  [Illustration: LLAMAS.]

Not far from the coast of America is Cuba, and here bullock wagons
suitable to the tropical climate of the island are used, with
shady roofs made of palm-leaves. These are driven by negroes, who
urge on the animals with long, iron-pointed goads. The reins are
attached to the ends of the bullock's horns.

  [Illustration: CUBAN VOLANTE.]

In the streets of Havana, the capital of Cuba, hooded carriages
called volantes, or kitrins, are seen. They are drawn by two horses
or mules, one being harnessed between the shafts while the other
is outside on the left. Sometimes three horses are driven abreast.
These vehicles are very curious in appearance, for they have
enormous wheels and shafts that are over fifteen feet in length.
The horses are ridden by negro postilions, who sometimes wear
gorgeous scarlet liveries ornamented with gold lace, and jack-boots
that reach almost to their waists.

From Cuba we can travel east or west, sailing either round the
Horn or the Cape of Good Hope, but whichever direction we choose
our ship comes at last to the great island continent of Australia.
There we find, in the large towns such as Sydney and Melbourne,
tramways, motor-cars, and even the old familiar hansom cabs of the
London streets.

Australia has not any strange vehicles of its own, for when
discovered it was inhabited only by savages, and it had no animals
that could be used as beasts of burden. These latter have, however,
been imported and acclimatized, and now horses and cattle may be
seen everywhere, while, if we travel across the sandy plains of the
west, we meet long lines of heavily laden camels that look as if
they had marched straight out of the Sahara or the Arabian deserts.


The horses of Australia are now famous all over the world, and the
Colonial riders are as celebrated. Indeed, in many districts men
almost live in the saddle, for in the great southern continent
estates are measured not by acres but by hundreds of miles, and the
shepherds and boundary riders often have to ride long distances in
their day's work.


An Australian horseman "up country" is a very picturesque figure
with his slouched felt hat, his rolled scarlet blanket, and the tin
billy-can dangling from his saddle.

There are not, as yet, many railways in the more thinly inhabited
districts of Australia, and travellers drive in coaches drawn
by two or four horses. Other vehicles are the buggies, light
two-wheeled conveyances which can be used where there are few roads
and the tracks through the bush are rough and steep.



After seeing the strange conveyances and modes of travel in Europe
and in the civilised countries of Asia, it will be interesting
to leave the beaten tracks behind us altogether for a time. We
will go beyond the high roads and the railways, and find out how
people make journeys in the great wildernesses of the world, where
travellers must be prepared to undergo discomforts and hardships,
to meet with dangers, and, very often, to carry their lives in
their hands.

If we open our atlases and turn to the maps of Africa, America,
Asia, and Australia, we shall find that in each continent there are
blank spaces. Sometimes these are called deserts or forests, but
often we can only guess at the character of the country from the
fact of there being no rivers marked and very few names of towns
and cities.

The most famous of all deserts is the Great Sahara, which extends
for thousands of miles across the north of Africa. Most people
picture it as a huge sandy plain, where there is no water and
no sign of life or vegetation; but, in reality, although there
are districts where the shifting sandhills stretch away as far as
the eye can see, a vast part of the Sahara consists of a stony
tableland covered with a scanty growth of low, thorny bushes.

In the deserts there are, moreover, many fertile spots looking
like exquisite little green islands set in the midst of a glowing,
yellow sea. They are called oases, and are found where there are
wells or pools of water. Arabs live in these places, cultivating
the land and building mud-houses, while other tribes spend their
time in wandering about the desert, seeking food for their animals
and trading in the scattered towns and villages. These wanderers,
or nomads, with their camels, horses, and herds of sheep and goats,
may be seen slowly moving across the great sunburnt plain and
pitching their brown tents at night among the sand-dunes.


The nomadic Arabs travel in large parties called caravans, for
there are brigands in the Sahara who would rob and murder lonely
wayfarers. The men in the caravan often ride, and their horses
are considered the finest in the whole world. The Arabs prize
these horses highly and treat them well, never allowing them to be
teased by the children, and, at the end of a long day's journey,
giving them their meal of milk and dates before they eat anything

Horses, however, are only used for riding, and all the hard work is
done by the camels, "the ships of the desert," as they are called.
It is a strange sight to see a great caravan crossing the desert,
sometimes as many as a thousand camels marching along in single
file, each with a heavy load on his back.

Camels are strange animals, for although they are strong and have
wonderful powers of endurance, they are surly, intractable, and
even more obstinate than mules. Occasionally a camel will consider
that he is overloaded, and lying down will snarl at his driver and
refuse to move. Blows and commands are useless in such a case,
but if the driver pretends to remove something from the burden
the animal is often completely deceived, and thinking that he has
outwitted his master and gained a victory, will rise to his feet
and start off contentedly on the journey.

One of the greatest dangers of desert travel is lack of water, for
wells are very few and far apart. Camels are particularly suited
to these conditions, as they can live for several days without
drinking, and when no water is forthcoming, will plod patiently
on and on, until their strength is exhausted and they fall down
beneath their heavy loads.

  [Illustration: CAMEL WITH BRIDAL BOWER.]

It will be noticed in a caravan that some of the camels carry
extraordinary fan-shaped palanquins on their backs. These contain
the Arab ladies, whose religion obliges them to be veiled, and who
can thus travel securely screened from sight. In the deserts of
Asia the women ride in a much more airy and comfortable fashion,
being provided with cushioned panniers slung on either side of the
camel's back and sheltered by a light awning. On the occasion of a
wedding in the Nile Delta district, the bride is carried on a camel
in a curious erection shaped like a Red Indian wigwam and decorated
with a large tuft of palm-leaves.

From the deserts we go to the great tropical forests, and there,
although there is plenty of water and shelter from the fierce rays
of the sun, travellers have to encounter new difficulties, new
hardships, and new dangers.

  [Illustration: CARRIERS IN THE FOREST.]

Those of us who have seen only woods in our own islands can hardly
imagine what one of the great forests of Central Africa, America,
or Asia is like, with its huge trees, strange plants, and hot,
steamy atmosphere, dank with the smell of rotting vegetation and
stagnant water, or heavy with the overpowering fragrance of some
tropical blossom. It is almost dark, for the foliage is dense, and
the trees are, moreover, hung with matted curtains of creepers,
while below is a tangled undergrowth, so tall and thick that
pathways have to be cut through it inch by inch.


The travellers must needs walk single file through these narrow
tracks, and they must be always armed and on their guard against
the dangerous wild animals that live in those weird, gloomy
jungles. Leopards, fierce gorillas, and rhinoceros, all have their
homes in those dark thickets, and there are besides great herds
of elephants that if alarmed will charge through the forest and
trample the intruders underfoot.

In addition to these perils the natives are often unfriendly, and
there have been many instances of cruelty and murder.

In these districts it is, of course, impossible to use wagons or
any large vehicles, and the climate is unhealthy for horses and
cattle. Negroes, therefore, act as carriers and march along the
narrow paths with heavy loads on their heads. These natives are
very strong, and may be seen carrying large bales, boxes, and even
bicycles through the jungle.

The Europeans of the party either walk too, or are carried in
hammocks slung on poles. An awning is fixed over the hammock, and
the occupant can lie down comfortably while he is borne along by
two or more negro porters. Wounded men or those ill with fever are
often taken for many miles in this fashion, and in Nigeria special
hospital hammocks are provided for this purpose on which the
familiar red cross may be seen.


The natives of these tropical forests either carry their
merchandise and other burdens themselves, or have light
conveyances suited to the narrow tracks that are the only roads of
the country. The Sobo negroes of West Africa have a very ingenious
arrangement, and often three or four of them may be seen walking in
single file and carrying a long pole on their shoulders. From this
pole are hung jars, bundles, and baskets of fruit and vegetables.

In another district a still more curious device is used. This is
a single railway line running between two towns, on which light
trucks can travel. These trucks have two wheels each, one behind
the other, and to each truck is fastened a pole which projects on
the left-hand side. Negroes walk beside the line, holding the poles
and thus driving the cars along.

In regions where the forest is less dense and the climate more
dry and healthy, animals can be used, and sometimes strange teams
are seen--camels, donkeys, and oxen being all pressed into the
transport service.



In the Arctic regions, far beyond the reach of railways, and where
even the sea is frozen during many months of the year, we find
strange conveyances and means of travel, for in those desolate
lands there are no roads. Even if a track is made it may, within a
few hours, be covered with drifting snow and entirely lost.

Horses and oxen cannot live in the bitter climate of the north,
so carriages, or any other wheeled conveyances, are useless.
Travellers, therefore, must needs adapt themselves to the
conditions of weather and country, and either invent new means of
locomotion or else borrow ideas from the original inhabitants of
those bleak, snow-clad lands.

The first Arctic explorers described their experiences in the Polar
regions, and life among the Esquimaux has changed very little since
those pioneer days when Frobisher and Sir Humphrey Gilbert set sail
in search of a new route to India and the East.

"They are a very strong people and warlike," the historian of
Frobisher's expedition wrote in 1577. "They go in coats made from
the skins of beasts. They travel in sledges drawn by dogs, and move
from place to place in quest of food."

The dogs seen then by the adventurous Englishmen and still used by
the natives are sturdy, rough-haired animals, rather like large
shaggy collies in appearance. They are very strong and hardy, and
are able to drag heavy loads for long distances. Esquimaux sledges
were often nearly twelve feet long and had runners made of the
jawbones of whales or of pieces of wood strongly lashed together.

  [Illustration: ICE-BOAT.]

Arctic travellers soon found that if they wished to journey far
into the Polar regions they must needs adopt native customs, so
they bought sledges and either dragged them themselves or hired
guides and teams of dogs. It is no easy matter to drive one of
these Esquimaux sledges, for the dogs are harnessed in single file
and are only controlled by the voice of the driver or by the long
flexible whip which he carries. The speed at which a sledge can be
drawn depends very much on the condition of the snow, but if it is
hard and smooth forty or fifty miles can be covered in a single day.

  [Illustration: REINDEER AND SLEDGE.]

After Sir John Franklin's expedition had disappeared in the
unknown Arctic world, many parties set out in search of him. The
leader of one of these, Captain Austin, tried a new means of
progression, and on one occasion attached sails and large kites to
his sledges. This experiment seems to have met with some success,
but we do not hear of it being attempted again, although ice-boats
are sailed as an amusement during the winter months on the frozen
lakes and rivers of Canada and the United States. Snow-shoes are
widely used in Canada during the winter. Hunters and trappers make
long journeys over the snow in search of fur or visiting their


Of late years explorers have turned their attention to the South
Pole, and in Antarctic regions not only dogs but small, hardy
ponies have been employed.

In Lapland, the most northern country of Europe, the natives keep
large herds of reindeer, and they use these animals to draw their
sledges, which are shaped like boats, being flat at the back and
with high-pointed prows. The reindeer are harnessed by leather
traces fastened to their collars, and the reins are tied to their
horns. The harness is hung with small bells which jingle merrily
as the sledge flies across the hard snow. Old writers say that
these animals were so swift that they could carry their masters
for two hundred miles in a single day. This, of course, is merely
a traveller's tale, but they can really go fifty or sixty miles in
twenty-four hours.


Sledges are used in other European countries and especially in
Russia, where the winters are long and hard. The Russian sledges
are very picturesque, with their four horses harnessed abreast and
their drivers wearing great padded coats and fur gloves to protect
them from the intense cold. Sledging in Russia is, however, not
without its dangers, and there are many stories of travellers who
have been frozen to death, and of others who have been overtaken
and killed by wolves as they drove across the snow-covered plains
and through the forests.

A writer of fifty years ago tells us of an exciting experience
which he and a fellow-traveller had when journeying in the Volga
district after a heavy snowstorm.

It was early morning when they started, and the road was a very
lonely one. They had not gone far when six large wolves were seen,
and although these animals were frightened away by a handful of
burning hay being flung among them--for wolves cannot bear the
sight of fire--they soon returned. Others joined them, and before
long the sledge was tearing across the snow with a whole pack in
close pursuit. The horses were terrified and the position seemed a
hopeless one, but fortunately the travellers were armed, and when
they had managed to shoot four of the wolves the others dispersed.

Sledges are also used in Austria, Germany, and Holland, and in many
museums quaint old Dutch sledges can be seen, shaped like armchairs
and richly gilded and painted.

These dainty sleds were pushed, not drawn, and in them the
fair-haired Dutch maidens of former days were taken for merry
excursions by their brothers and boy friends along the smooth
highways of the frozen canals.

  [Illustration: ENGLISH SLEDGE.]

In England the winters are very seldom cold enough for sledging to
be indulged in, but still it is not entirely unknown. An English
sledge is, as a rule, more lightly built than those of other
countries and is higher from the ground. It is drawn by one or more
horses and the harness is hung with little bells.


We most of us think of Australia as a very warm, almost a
tropical land, and it is quite a surprise to learn that even our
cousins "Down Under" can sometimes enjoy real winter sports. Our
illustration, however, shows us that this is the case, for here we
see a picture of a sledge at Kosciusko, New South Wales, taken,
perhaps, on some cold June mid-winter day. Kosciusko is situated
in one of the mountainous districts of Australia, and there ice
and snow--as we see in the picture--are by no means unknown. This
sledge is low on the ground with two seats, one behind the other,
and it is drawn by a pair of sturdy ponies.



We have been to many countries and have seen many modes of travel,
but there are still places, scattered over the globe, which have
not been visited and yet which have strange and interesting
vehicles of their own. Let us imagine, then, that we are taking a
hurried voyage round the world, stopping here and there for a few
moments to see those lands which we have left out on our previous

We will start from Plymouth, and sail southward until we come to
the beautiful Portuguese island of Madeira, and here some very
curious conveyances are to be seen. These are the carros, light
carts made of basket-work, which, instead of having wheels, are
mounted on runners like sleds.

It seems very strange at first to think of sledges in connection
with a country which boasts a semitropical climate, and where,
except in the mountains, ice and snow are unknown, but the quaint
carro is well-suited to its conditions and slides smoothly over the
steep, paved roads.

  [Illustration: BULLOCK CARRO, MADEIRA.]

Two kinds of these sleds are used in Madeira. The bullock carros,
which are comfortably provided with springs, awnings, and curtains,
and the more simple carros da monte, that look like large toboggans
and run at a great speed down the hills. Hammocks are also used
in the island to carry travellers into districts where rough and
winding paths make the carro impracticable, and bullock carts are
to be seen on the farms and vineyards. Some of these carts are very
picturesque, especially those on which huge casks are carried.


In St. Michael's and the other islands of the Azores, there are
very curious bullock carts made of basket-work, with solid wheels.

  [Illustration: CARRO DA MONTE, MADEIRA.]

From the Azores, or Westward Islands, we journey on until we
come to the West Indies, where, in Jamaica, we find that large,
four-wheeled wagons are used in the sugar plantations. These have
high sides so that great quantities of the canes can be carried,
and are drawn by four or six oxen.

  [Illustration: BULLOCK CART, AZORES.]

Small donkeys with panniers also have their share of work in
Jamaica, but the negro inhabitants do much of their transport for
themselves, and on market days chattering crowds of women may be
seen making their way into the towns with great baskets of fruit or
heavy bundles tied up in gay bandana handkerchiefs on their woolly

After seeing the islands of the Atlantic Ocean we skirt round
Africa and come to Madagascar, where we find litters in use which
are much like those we have already seen in many countries and in
many ages. A traveller who visited Madagascar in 1861 describes a
royal procession when the queen rode in a palanquin that was richly
gilt and embroidered with gold and scarlet.

We now cross Asiatic Turkey and reach to Persia, where, if we
wish to see the country, we must engage horses for ourselves and
baggage-mules to carry our goods and chattels. A traveller who
went from Trebizond to Erzeroum in 1862 made the journey in this
fashion, and a very romantic experience it must have been, for the
scenery traversed was hilly and picturesque, and the climate left
nothing to be desired. "Our caravan passed cheerfully along," he
says, "the bells on our horses jangling merrily and the muleteers
singing their chanting songs and entertaining each other with
marvellous narratives. Much in the same way as we were travelling
then, the old Crusaders rode to Palestine."

  [Illustration: MADAGASCAR LITTER.]

At that time, more than fifty years ago, the Bagdad railway had
not been begun and riding was the only means of getting about the
country. The same writer describes the gorgeously caparisoned
horses with purple silk bridle reins and silver harness, on which
the high officials of Persia rode through the streets of Teheran,
and goes on to say that the people might be called a nation of
horsemen, for even the royal despatches of the Shah and the public
documents were dated "From the King's Stirrup."

Among other interesting sights to be seen in the towns of Persia
are the itinerant beggars mounted on small humped bullocks, and the
large panniers slung on to the backs of mules in which women travel.

These panniers, which are closely covered, look as if they would be
very airless and uncomfortable, but in them long journeys are made,
and the mules thus loaded may be met in company with bullock-carts
and long lines of camels on the great caravan road which leads from
Persia into the heart of Central Asia.

In Afghanistan women and children travel on camels, wooden panniers
being hung on either side of the animal's hump, while between them
is a kind of platform sheltered by a little tent-like awning.

On we go, through Thibet and over the Himalayas, where we see
shaggy yaks coming across the steep passes with heavy loads on
their backs, and so reach India, the strange vehicles of which have
been already described.

There was, however, one province which was omitted when we visited
India before, and this is Pondicherry, which belongs to France
and is the only district of the great peninsula not under British
dominion. In this place a very original conveyance called the
push-push is to be seen. It is a light carriage with wheels,
springs, and awning complete, but instead of being drawn by a horse
it is, as its name implies, pushed from behind by two stalwart

  [Illustration: PONDICHERRY PUSH-PUSH.]

East of India, across the Bay of Bengal, is Burmah, a country
where, as in Japan, everything seems to be picturesque and
artistic. Here we see little gaily clad women driving in charming
two-wheeled carts which have gracefully curved fronts like the
bows of a boat. Over the heads of the passengers is arranged an
umbrella-shaped awning, and the bullocks which draw these dainty
conveyances wear elaborately decorated harness and have collars
hung with tinkling bells.

From Burmah our journey takes us to Siam, where elephants are
used both for transport purposes and to carry travellers into
the mountains and forests of the interior. The howdahs of these
elephants are very curious, having large hoods which project both
in front and at the back.

Leaving the continent of Asia we cross the sea to the Dutch island
of Java, where the women ride in palanquins suspended from a long
pole and carried by two or four porters. Hammocks, which are very
much like the kagos of Japan, are also used, and there are quaint
ox-carts with little pent roofs and rough wheels made out of solid
slabs of wood.

Not very far from Java are the Philippine Islands, which now belong
to America. Here strange-looking animals called water-buffaloes, or
carabaos, are employed to draw clumsy wooden carts. The carabao is
guided by a cord attached to a ring in his nose, the driver sitting
either on the shaft of the cart or on the animal's back.



At the present time, when England, and indeed almost the whole of
the civilised world, is covered with a network of railways, and
the cuttings, the tunnels, and the high embankments seem almost to
be physical features of the landscape that we see around us, it is
difficult to realise that a hundred years ago none of these things
were in existence. Our great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers,
as we have seen, had to be content with very different modes of
travel, and would have been amazed if they had been told that it
would be possible before very long to make the journey from London
to York in a few hours.

It is said that Lord Worcester in the reign of Charles II. was one
of the first scientists to experiment with steam engines, and about
a century later James Watt improved and utilised this invention. We
have all heard of the little Scotch boy who used to sit watching
the steam coming from the spout of a boiling kettle, who puzzled
his head over its power and who, when he grew up, worked hard in
order to earn money and be able to carry out his experiments.

The first railway was opened in 1825, but before that the
steam engine invented by Watt had been in use for some time in
collieries. One of these early engines, which was called "Puffing
Billy," can still be seen in a London museum.

The railway trains of ninety years ago, wonderful as they were
considered then, were very different from those of to-day, for
there were no comfortable carriages with windows and cushioned
seats, and the passengers had to travel in open wagons. There
were no waiting rooms or platforms either, and the speed was very
moderate, fifteen to twenty miles an hour being thought marvellous
and even dangerous.

This is what a writer says in the year 1837:

"The length of the Liverpool railway is thirty-one miles, and
the fact that passengers are regularly conveyed that distance by
locomotive engines in one and a half to two hours produced an
extraordinary sensation."

  [Illustration: EARLY ENGINE.]

As the years went on, railways and the trains which ran on
them improved very quickly and stage coaches became hopelessly
old-fashioned, but for some time a railway journey was something
of an adventure and many strange plans were made in order to
prevent accidents.

One of the most eccentric of these ideas was that the last carriage
or van on a train should have a roof sloping backwards towards
the ground and fitted with railway lines, so that if the train to
which it was attached were overtaken by another, there would be no
collision, for the second engine would run up the sloping roof and
travel along on the top of the slower train.

  [Illustration: WHITE SUDAN TRAIN.]

Nowadays, railway travelling has become much safer and also
more luxurious, and our trains, with their sleeping berths and
restaurant cars, would have been considered marvels by the early
passengers who crowded contentedly into the jolting open trucks of
1839. One of the most interesting of modern trains is to be seen on
the Sudan line. It is painted white for the sake of coolness and
has wooden venetian blinds instead of windows.

  [Illustration: MOUNTAIN RAILWAY.]

At first it was considered impossible for railways to be
constructed except on level ground, but difficulties were gradually
overcome and for many years there have been trains running up the
Rigi and other mountains. Now a line has been made to the summit of
the Jung Frau, which is over thirteen thousand feet high, and by it
tourists can be taken far into the region of perpetual snow.

Towards the end of the nineteenth century a new power began to
be used, and we hear of locomotives driven not by steam but by
electricity. Now, although steam has not been ousted from the
field, there are many electric trains, and in almost every city of
Europe electric trams run through the streets and often far out
into the country beyond.

Another invention of the nineteenth century which made, as time
went on, a new means of travel, was the bicycle, but although
the first of these machines appeared more than a hundred years
ago, they were very strange-looking contrivances indeed, and were
considered ridiculous and useless.

  [Illustration: HIGH BICYCLE.]

The first of all cycles--if it can be dignified by such a
name--made it début in 1808 in Paris. It was called a "hobby-horse"
and consisted of two wheels placed one behind the other, and
connected by a bar on which was a small saddle. The rider kept his
feet on the ground, and when he came to a hill raised them and let
the machine carry him down. At corners, however, he had to lift up
the hobby-horse and turn it round.

The dandy-horse, which had a movable front wheel, came next, and
then there was a long succession of strange inventions, many of
which hailed from America. One of these consisted of a large
rocking-horse mounted on two wheels, and another had one very
large wheel in which the rider sat. Some of these machines were
propelled with the feet, others with the hands. Croft's invention
was punted along by two long poles in the hands of the rider, and
Mey's machine had a large front wheel in which a dog ran round like
a squirrel in a cage.

While experiments were being made with these extraordinary
contrivances, more practical bicycles were already in use. They
were called velocipedes, or bone-shakers, and very wonderful they
were thought to be, although to our modern eyes the high bicycle
of thirty years ago with its large front wheel on which the rider
was perched and small back wheel, seems almost as curious as the
quaint hobby-horse of earlier times.

  [Illustration: EARLY CYCLE.]

The present form of bicycle was first made towards the end of
the last century, after the invention of pneumatic tyres, but
motor-cycles are now beginning to take its place, and we are all
familiar with these wonderful little vehicles, many of which have
a side-car for an extra passenger, and are able to travel at the
rate of thirty, forty, or even fifty miles an hour.

  [Illustration: EARLY MOTOR-CAR.]

From cycles we go to motor-cars, and now when the roads are
thronged with these swift conveyances it is strange to think
that for a long time "horseless carriages" were considered an
impossibility and spoken of with jeering incredulity.

More than a hundred years ago, however, a Frenchman invented a
steam carriage which could travel at the rate of two miles an hour,
and during the next half-century other vehicles of the sort were
patented besides several very curious mechanical carriages.

A picture and description of one of these appears in a magazine of
the time, and we see that it was a large carriage with four wheels.
One man sits in front, holding what are apparently quite useless
reins, while a second man, standing behind in a kind of box,
works a machine with his feet and so propels the heavy conveyance
along. Another and an even more extraordinary-looking carriage
was invented by a Mr. Boller in 1804. It was propelled by a very
complicated arrangement of large and small cog-wheels.

Progress was made during the next few years, and in 1829 two
inventors had constructed a steam carriage which could travel at
the rate of fifteen miles an hour. A little later we learn that
there was a regular service of steam coaches running between
Gloucester and Cheltenham.

After that, however, many years elapsed before horseless carriages
came into general use, one reason being that such conveyances were
heavily taxed and subjected to many rules. It was not until 1896
that these were altered, and then immediately there was a change
and cars driven by steam, electricity, and petrol came into use.



The travel of to-morrow! It is a fascinating subject, for, as we
look backward through the last century and see the marvellous
progress that has been made, it is impossible to believe that now
we have come to a standstill. How then shall we travel in the
future? Will it be in some new form of railway train or motor-car,
with increased speed and added comfort? Or shall we leave solid
earth behind us altogether and make our journeys in great airships
and aeroplanes?

We will begin with the more commonplace methods, and consider the
possibilities of improvements and innovations in railway travel.

Lately a great deal has been said and written about the mono-rail,
and it seems quite likely that alterations will take place in
this direction, for a single-line railway is comparatively cheap
to construct, and has many other advantages, among them that of
greatly increased speed. It is estimated that this could easily
reach two miles a minute.

In Africa we saw a very primitive form of mono-railway, and there
is another in Algeria, where the trucks or baskets filled with
agricultural produce hang on either side of a single line and are
drawn along by mules.

A real mono-railway with engines, railway carriages, and trucks is
already in existence in Ireland, where it runs between Listowel
and Ballybunion. The line is raised some feet from the ground, and
is about 10 miles in length. The engine is a very curious-looking
machine, with a boiler on each side and two funnels. This is
arranged so that the weight is evenly balanced. There are also
methods by which the trains on a mono-railway may be steadied by
means of a wonderful contrivance called a gyroscope.

Closely allied to the single-line railway is the hanging railway,
which was first invented to carry loads of merchandise or minerals
across rivers or over rough forest lands where an ordinary line
would be difficult and expensive to construct. There is one of
these hanging railways in Rhodesia, where a strong wire crosses
from bank to bank of a river, and carries a chair-shaped seat which
can hold two passengers. This is dragged backwards and forwards by
means of a second wire.


Sometimes, instead of wire, rope is used, and these rope railways
can be seen in use at many of the mines in South Africa.

Other and more elaborate railways in the air have been made in
Germany, and there is one for passengers running between Barmen
and Elberfield. In this case the single rail is raised on high
trestles, and the carriage, which looks very much like a large
tramcar, runs along the line suspended beneath the trestles.

Then, too, we may in the future have railways that will take us
across the English Channel, either through a great tunnel or over a
bridge, reaching, as was proposed in 1884, from Folkestone to Cape

A third plan that has been suggested for crossing to France is
that of a submarine bridge, upon which a curious construction or
platform would run, and on this the trains themselves could be
taken from shore to shore, while still another proposal was that
large ferry-steamers should be built, on the lower decks of which
the trains could be carried.

And now we will leave the earth and look at the pictures of
airships and the wonderful aeroplanes, which, although improvements
are being made every day, can already travel at an almost
incredible speed and with a security that only a little while ago
would have been considered quite impossible. Nowadays air travel
is not only a possibility but an accomplished fact, and it is hard
to realise that it has come about during the last twenty years, and
that before then practical flying machines were unknown.

  [Illustration: OVERHEAD TROLLEY.]

From very early times, however, inventors and scientists have
dreamed and experimented, and no less than seven hundred years ago,
Roger Bacon, one of the most learned men of his day, seems to have
looked down through the centuries and to have actually seen the
aeroplanes with which we are now familiar.

"There may be made a flying instrument," he says, "so that a man
sitting in the midst of the instrument and turning some mechanism
may move some artificial wings so that they may beat the air like a
bird in flight."

It was a strange prophecy, but in those far-off times--the dark
ages we call them--men had already fixed their hopes on flight, and
school children were trained in the use of wings as in that of the

We are not told what advantages this curious accomplishment gave to
the little boys and girls of the thirteenth century, and, indeed,
it may have brought them ill-fortune, for in those days inventors
were often accused of witchcraft, and new ideas were looked upon
with suspicion. Even centuries later, when the first balloons
were causing great excitement in England, many people thought that
it was wrong to spurn the laws of nature by attempting to fly.


During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries some very strange
flying machines were made, and even before that time, in the reign
of James IV. of Scotland, we find that "The Abbot of Tungland tuik
in hand to flie with wingis." The bold Churchman, however, did not
succeed in his rash venture, but fell from the wall of Stirling
Castle and broke his thigh.

In 1709 another monk planned a wonderful flying ship which was to
carry twelve men besides stores of food, and about sixty years
later a Frenchman made himself "A whirl of feathers, curiously
interlaced and extending gradually at suitable distances in a
horizontal direction from his head to his feet." In this eccentric
costume the would-be bird-man fluttered down from a height of
seventy feet and escaped uninjured.


The makers of balloons, meanwhile, met with more success, and
they bravely experimented with their frail contrivances, which
at first were filled with heated air and necessitated a fire
in the basket-work car, fed with fuel of chopped straw. As may
be imagined, many accidents occurred, but the inventors went
on their way undaunted, and in the middle of the nineteenth
century we find a man named Nadar constructing an enormous balloon
called the "Giant," which seems to have been the forerunner of
the great airships of to-day. This monster would, we hear, have
exactly fitted into the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral. It had a
smaller balloon attached to it, and below both a car fitted with
wheels. This was divided into compartments for the captain and the
passengers, with beds, baggage, and provisions, while a printing
office and a photographer's room were included.

Nadar's ambitions, however, did not stop at this marvel. Indeed,
the "Giant" was only intended to be a means of raising funds for
the making of a flying machine, which was to be called the aeronef
and have wings and a screw propeller.

The difficulty then, and for many years afterwards, was to make an
engine which at the same time should be sufficiently strong and
yet light. It was not until another fifty years had passed that
this problem was solved and then we find the modern aeroplanes and
hydroplanes being gradually developed and improved.

In 1909 a French aviator crossed the Channel for the first time,
and since then the progress has been extraordinary, so that now
we think little of feats which a dozen years ago would have been
considered quite outside the bounds of possibility.

Side by side with the aeroplanes, dirigible balloons have been
developed, and we can hardly doubt that in the future this mode of
travel will come to be as safe and almost as commonplace as our
railways and motor-cars of to-day.


_Uniform with this Book._




    By A. A. METHLEY, F.R.G.S.

_Illustrated, with colour and numerous black and white
illustrations by W. H. HOLLOWAY._

Every English child believes that a British home is the nicest
in the world; but this interesting book contains much that is
fascinating and strange in its descriptions and pictures of
dwellings in which boys and girls live in other lands.


    3 and 4 Paternoster Buildings, E.C. 4

   ----_and obtainable from all booksellers_.----














































With Coloured and other Illustrations



Numerous Illustrations in Black and White, besides Coloured Plates



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